Stewardship Brunch Celebrates Scholarship Donors
Josh Howard headlined the 2015 Stewardship Brunch
Feb. 2, 2015

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By Katharine Williams, Wake Forest External Communications

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Nearly 300 student-athletes and donors gathered in the Snead Room in Bridger Field House on Saturday for the third annual Stewardship Brunch, hosted by the Deacon Club in honor of scholarship donors.

Those in attendance helped fund scholarships for over 350 Wake Forest student-athletes through the establishment of endowed athletic scholarships and contributions to the Deacon Club Annual Fund.

Following a brief introduction from Barry Faircloth, Associate Athletic Director of Development, women's soccer senior Riley Ridgik took the podium for the invocation.

Always a highlight of the event, donors and student-athletes were then able to chat and get to know one another over brunch.

Of special note were members of the John Hicks Society, comprised of donors who have established endowed scholarships, in attendance, as well as the Moricle Society and Locker Room Club. Moricle Society donors contribute the equivalent of one full scholarship for a student-athlete each year, and Locker Room Club members, a half scholarship.

Following brunch, men's track and field senior Daniel Harrison took the stage to speak from the current student-athlete perspective. He began by thanking everyone in the room for giving him, and all of his fellow student-athletes, the opportunity to attend Wake Forest.

"My experience has truly been amazing. Everyone at Wake Forest is here to listen to you, nurture you and develop you," said Harrison. "It's something that's really unique to Wake Forest and I want to thank all of the donors from the bottom of my heart for giving me, and all of the student-athletes here on scholarship, the opportunity to be a part of this amazing environment."

Speaking from the former student-athlete and donor perspective, former men's basketball standout and Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame member, Josh Howard, took the podium next. He started by describing his path to Wake Forest and thanking the Hall family, who endowed the scholarship he received as a student-athlete.

"Growing up in Winston-Salem, I didn't really have a clue where I would end up," he said. "I was fortunate to always have people pushing me, including my donor family, and that carried over into basketball. That's one thing that I want to stress to current student-athletes. Get to know your donor family. These people do this for us, and for the sake of Wake Forest... The Hall family is part of my family."

Howard went on to describe the valuable lessons he learned at Wake Forest.

"Some things I learned at Wake Forest were [the importance of] being part of the community, staying grounded, and being with people that really have your back. Those are things that I carried over into my NBA career. Many of you might not know this, but most NBA players may play only four or five years at the most, and I was able squeeze out ten," Howard said with a smile. "I think that speaks to where I came from and who I kept around me."

Howard received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech, followed by Director of Athletics, Ron Wellman, with closing remarks.

"When Josh got back to our table he said 'You didn't have to stand up.' How many of us haven't stood up for Josh many times throughout his career? He is certainly a wonderful representative for Wake Forest," said Wellman.

Wellman thanked the student-athletes present for continuing to represent Wake Forest University well, as well as the donors in attendance.

"Thank you for what you are doing for our program," he said. "Without you, these student-athletes that you met this morning would not have the opportunity to attend one of the finest universities in America and compete at the very highest level of Division I athletics. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all that you do for Wake Forest University."

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